Fundraising tribute to Lancaster man who took his own life after ‘immense battle’ with mental health

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The family of a Lancaster man who took his own life have paid tribute to a “caring, kind, strong and immensely brave” individual who lost his battle with his demons.

Sonny-Jay Woodhouse, 28, died on August 27, following a long battle with mental health.

His brother Chris Woodhouse, who has set up a GoFundMe page in his memory, said Sonny had “left a piece of himself behind” as his partner is due to give birth to their child – Willow – in December.

In a tribute to the former Ripley St Thomas High School pupil, who he described as an incredibly talented musician with a love for all things outdoors, Chris said: “My brother was the best version of a human being you could imagine, caring, kind, strong and immensely brave to battle against his mental health for such a long time.

“He will leave behind a legacy of happiness in everyone that had the pleasure of meeting him.

“He struggled immensely with his mental health, and sadly lost his battle with his demons on the August 27, 2019 when he felt the only option was to take his own life.

“He simply couldn’t live with the pain any longer.

“He passed away at the age of 28 surrounded by his loving family, his friends and his partner who has the privilege of carrying his unborn child.

“We know Sonny-Jay will have wanted to leave us with a piece of himself behind, and he has done that in leaving us with Willow Jay Woodhouse (he chose the name before passing away) who is due to be born this December.

“The donation page is for anyone to contribute to Willow Woodhouse and her mother, it is what Sonny will have wanted.

“To make sure that his family are looked after.

“No amount of money or presents will ever take the pain away from us all, that child will learn all about her amazing daddy by everyone that met him.

“And hopefully on raising some funds, we can try to ensure that the first few years of Willow’s life are as good as they can be, or perhaps pay towards a first car or university tuition.”

National Suicide Prevention Day took place on Tuesday.

New figures reveal that the suicide rate in Lancaster district is higher than the average across the North West.

It reflects the trend seen across the UK, where the number of suicides climbed to its highest for three decades in 2018, driven by a significant rise in the male suicide rate.

Office for National Statistics figures show that 16 suicides were recorded in Lancaster in 2018, a decrease on the 17 recorded in 2017.

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